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Green Project Event (2014) 2nd Annual Wood Burning Workshop for Children in Fukushima

Back to Fukushima!!

Back in April 2013, we wanted to reach out and support those affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake, so we came up with the idea of holding a workshop where anyone can experience and enjoy the art of Wood Burning, which is an indoor activity that uses natural materials such as wood and leather.
Understanding the value of continuity, we went back to Fukushima during this year's cherry blossom season!
Here's a look at our 2nd Wood Burning Workshop which was held at the KOMU-KOMU-KAN facility in Fukushima on April 26-27, 2014.

From hearing people say things such as, “I heard the workshop enrollment is closed due to max capacity, but I just stopped by to say hello to HAKKO”, and “We had lots of fun last year, so we're back again this year!” with a keychain from last year's workshop hanging from their bags, we were able to feel our efforts from our previous workshop begin to bear fruit.


Another person had told us, “Three years has passed since the great earthquake, but the city has finally begun to regain its vibrancy.” Hearing this made us feel very happy, but at the same time, we felt that the process of recovery and resurgence was just beginning.

Over a two day span, 58 people (including parents and guardians) participated in this year's workshop without any major injuries.
Being able to hear participants say, “Please come to Fukushima again!” gave us great joy while taking part in this event as representatives for HAKKO.


From HAKKO event participants

■ I feel very blessed that I was able to spend a wonderful time with the people at the 2nd Annual Wood Burning Workshop for the children in Fukushima. This could not have been possible if not for the help of many others. Nowadays, the amount of information we receive about the disaster stricken area has become extremely low. With the awareness that the disaster itself should never be forgotten, I would like to continue this event as a way to keep a connection between the disaster stricken area and HAKKO. (Keita Sakai)

■ The people in Fukushima told us… “It took 3 years, but the city has begun to feel much more vibrant this year. The real re-building process has just begun.” The laughter and smiles on the kids faces are the driving force behind the re-building process. The amount of help we give may be little, but I would like to continue this event every year. Thank you very much. (Tetusji Mukai)

■ After the Great East Japan Earthquake, when I went on a fishing trip to Fukushima prefecture, a man I had met in the mountains told me “Thank You”. The man was reminded of how things were before the earthquake disaster hit the area, and was saying thanks to me for coming to Fukushima to have some fun. Ever since then, I have felt that I should always be acting naturally towards people in that area. During the actual Wood Burning Workshop, one of the kids had said, “People from Osaka are really funny!” Yeah!!!(Nobutaka Higashi)

■ I felt very fortunate and happy to be able to participate in the 2nd Annual Wood Burning Workshop for the children in Fukushima. I was able to see many smiles on the kids faces, and they made me feel relieved and upbeat about their future. The participants (kids) were able to create something out of nothing and seemed to really enjoy the event. We were able to go as representatives for HAKKO, but I thank everyone who helped out with the preparations and donations. Thank you very much. (Kenta Fujiwara)

■ By participating in the Wood Burning Workshop for the children in Fukushima, I was happy to see all the kids having fun, working hard on the wood burning activity. One of the children even told me, “I love Fukushima!!” I will use this as an opportunity for me to learn more about the current situation in Fukushima.Thank you very much for giving me this wonderful opportunity! (Miki Inohata)

■ I decided to participate in this event because lately, I don't hear much news about the disaster-affected area. I thought the best way to find out how far along the re-building process has come was for me to go there myself. The local people had told me that the area had recently begun to show signs of a bustling community, and I felt that the actual re-building process was just beginning. I feel that it is important to “keep up” and “continue” things which are once started, so I strongly feel that I would like to be a part of this re-building process for the ongoing future. (Kazunari Irinaka)

We continue to support and strengthen our bond with those affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake.
Friendly Innovation Committee

Edited by Sakai, Mukai, Higashi, Fujiwara, Inohata and Irinaka